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Pirates are prime prospects for music and video

Date:6 May 2009
Specialism:Ipsos MediaCT
Keywords:Downloading, Internet, media, Music
(Click on keywords to find related News Items)

The people who download and share music and video illegally are amongst the most avid buyers of legal music and video - on and off-line a new study from Ipsos MediaCT has found.

 The research, carried out on-line amongst 6,500 respondents in 12 countries, found that:

  • 44% of respondents worldwide admitted to using ‘unofficial' sites, such as BitTorrent, to download music on a monthly basis. The corresponding figure for video was 38%.
  • However people who use unofficial sites are also more likely than average to pay to download or stream music on-line. 94% of people who used them for accessing music also used official sites (such as the Apple iTunes Store or Napster) compared to 68% of the population as a whole.
  • 69% of people who use unofficial sites also pay for music streamed or downloaded from the internet compared to 55% of the population. 62% of them buy CDs in stores in an average month compared to 44% of the population.
  • For video, the same observation holds. Again on a monthly basis, those using unofficial sites are more likely than average to also use official sites (90% vs. 53%), pay to stream or download (82% vs. 55%) or buy DVDs in a store (67% vs. 44%)

Unofficial sites play an important role in some countries in introducing people to music they have not heard before. A third of Japanese and US respondents, for example, stated that they ‘probably would not have listened' to some music content were this channel to be closed to them.

Traditional media are far from dead!

  • The radio (69%)remains the single most popular way in which consumers find out about new music artists.
  • Television (60%) is the most important source of information for finding out about programmes, while cinema advertising (54%) ranks top for finding out about new movies.

Richard Silman, chief executive officer of Ipsos MediaCT, commented that:

"People are finding and consuming content in many more places today than they did yesterday. This is especially true in the music, video and video games industries. Ipsos MediaCT, whose mission is to be a global leader in understanding the connections between media, content and technology, has undertaken this study in order to quantify this changing behaviour in a systematic way". 

Andrew Green, Chief Marketing Officer of Ipsos MediaCT added:

"It is clear from our study that, although the world is changing and people can access and consume content from an ever-widening number of sources, people still use a variety of media - both new and old - to inform them about new products and services in these product categories. They should certainly not be written off by marketers as many seem to be saying".

Technical notes

Ipsos MediaCT interviewed 6,500 people online between January and March 2009 in Great Britain, the USA, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Russia, China, Japan, India and the United Arab Emirates.

Quotas were set on age, gender and region to reflect the make-up of the on-line population aged from 16-65 (16-54 in Brazil and Russia).

Weighting was applied to each country to calculate the global results based on the number of internet users in each market. A weighting was applied to the US data to correct for a deliberate over-sampling of higher income groups there.

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Andrew Green
Andrew Green

Global Head of Audience Measurement